Volume 33 (2016) / Issue 1
Since the United Arab Emirates (‘UAE’) ratified the NewYork Convention in July 2006, the popularity of arbitration has soared in the UAE. The local UAE courts have enforced a number of arbitral awards under the Convention and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court now offers an alternative seat and route for the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards pursuant to an UNCITRAL Model Law-based arbitration law. Yet there remain a number of recurrent pitfalls commonly encountered by parties attempting to enforce arbitration agreements, conduct effective arbitrations and enforce foreign and domestic arbitral awards in the UAE. Parties may be caught out by issues such as capacity, the breadth of disputes considered non-arbitrable by the local courts, and alleged deficiencies in the conduct of the arbitration and the award itself. These pitfalls result from quirks of UAE law and the fact that there is still no dedicated arbitration law applicable to all of the UAE.
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